Biotechnology

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without considering not only the world as it is but the world as it will be.”

Isaac Asimov, Biochemist and Fiction Writer, 1920-1992

 

Keeping with the mission of the department to become a leading centre in education, research and entrepreneurship in Biotechnology, guided by sound scientific and ethical principles, and committed to the virtues of quality and relevance, this year we introduced the Diploma Course in Bioinformatics for Final Year Undergraduate and Post Graduate Biosciences students.

Several activities were conducted to enhance student learning and engagement with research and industry needs.

 

Seminars and Workshops Conducted:

  1. Pre-conference symposium ‘Sequence to Drugs’- A 2019 NextGen Genomics, Biology, Bioinformatics and Technologies in collaboration with SciGenom Research Foundation (SGRF), India on 28th September 2019.

Speakers and Talks

 

  • Dr. Sekar Seshagiri, ModMab Therapeutics, USA- Genomics landscape overview.
  • Dr. Kushal Suryamohan, MedGenome Inc, USA- Bioinformatics analysis overview.
  • Dr. Sameer Phalke, MedGenome Labs, India- Genomics applications in clinics in India.
  • Dr. Mallika Singh, Revolution Medicines, USA- How drugs are made.
  • Dr. Zoltan Takacs, Toxin Tech, USA- Nature’s gift - venom to drugs.
  • Dr. Sekar Seshagiri Dr. Zoltan Takacs.

 

  1. Seminar on ‘Translating Cancer Genomics to medicine’ by Dr. Amit Dutt on 5th October 2019.

  1. ‘Biotuning Possibilities’- a one- day seminar organized on 12th October 2019.

    • Mr. Nikhil T., Alumnus- Reviewer (Medicine), Cactus Communications- ‘Edit the Write Way’.

    • Dr. Hrishikesh Pandit, Alumnus-Post doctoral fellow, NIH, USA- Current Status and future advancements in HIV/ AIDS therapy; Career prospects in Biological Sciences: Making the best choice.

    • Dr. Rukmini Govekar PI, ACTREC- ‘Advances in Proteomics’.

    • Dr.  Ashok   Verma,   P  I & Scientific Officer ‘E’, ACTREC- ‘Unravelling the protein structure: X-ray Crystallography’.

  2. ‘Trends in Immunodiagnostics- From Detection to Diagnosis and Beyond’, a one-day symposium and workshop on Immunoinformatics under the aegis of RUSA, held on 6th February 2020.

    • Dr. B R Das, Clinical Advisor & Mentor, R & D Development, SRL diagnostics Pvt. Ltd.- Precision Medicine: A Paradigm shift in diagnostics.
    • Dr. Taruna Madan, Scientist F, Head Department of Innate Immunity, ICMR-NIRRH -Evaluation of innate immune molecules as microbicides for the prevention of STIs including HIV.
    • Dr. Bhavani Shankar, Scientist, Radiation Biology and Health Sciences, BARC- Immunotherapeutics in cancer treatment.
    • Dr. Ikram Khatkhatay, Scientist, NIRRH, Mumbai- Current Trends in Immunodiagnostics.
    • Mr. Badri Narayan, Applications Specialist, Thermo Fischer Scientific Pvt Ltd.- Immunobiology and diagnostics: Available tools and techniques: Where we are and what we can do?
    • Immunoinformatics Workshop – Resource Person- Ms. Norine D’Souza and team.
  1. Roadmap: To a Post CoVID 19 Era: A Two-day International Webinar held on 23rd and 24th May 2020. Highlights of the Webinar-

    • Dr. Sekar Seshagiri (Science Genome Research Foundation (SGRF), India and ModMab Therapeutics, USA) - ‘SARS CoV-2: A beautiful, deadly and an invisible killer- can science help defeat it?
    • Dr. Salil Shinde, Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals, Hong Kong SAR ‘Pharmaceutical Industry, and COVID 19-short-and long-term implications’.
    • Dr. Elvis Martis, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bombay College of Pharmacy, India.- How good are Drug Re-purposing Strategies to tackle SARS-CoV-2?
    • Dr. Sandeepan Mukherjee, Scientist, Haffkine’s Research Institute- Diagnosing CoVID 19 - Where is the Bottle- Neck?
    • Dr. Caroline Mathen, CEO & founder of OCT Therapies & Research Private Ltd.-The Potential of Stem Cells Based Therapies for COVID 19.
    • Dr. Krishna Iyer, Head, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Bombay College of Pharmacy (Autonomous)- Vaccination and Viral Vaccines- Considerations and Status of COVID-19 Vaccine.
    • Dr. Subhrojyoti Bhowmick, Clinical Director, Peerless Hospital, Kolkata- CoVID19 and health comorbidities: Does it affect the outcome?
    • Dr. Hrishikesh Pandit, Post Doctor Fellow National Cancer Institute of Health, Maryland, USA- Immunotherapy for CoVID19 – Global Perspective and Opportunities.
    • Palindrome Magazine: The 9thissue of Palindrome Magazine, published in February 2020, revolved around the theme ‘Biotechnology in Everyday Life’.

 

Staff and Student Research Activities:

 

Research Projects 2019-20

  • Dr. Karuna Gokarn and Ms. Norine D’Souza guided a project for MSc dissertation titled “Impact of point mutations on the structural stability of rpoB and katG proteins of M. tuberculosis: A computational approach”.

  • Semester 3 students completed 18 group projects on various aspects of Bioinformatics, Animal cell culture and Environment Biotechnology.

 

Dr. Sekar Seshagiri

 

Research Grants awarded in 2019-20

  • Ms. Norine D’Souza and Dr. Shiney Peter have received a grant of Rs. 70,000/- each for the University of Mumbai- Minor Research Project.

Poster Presentations:

  • ‘Adsorption of an Azo dye using Chitosan and spent Tea Powder’ in 8th Indian Chitin Chitosan Society Symposium held on 19th and 20th September 2019 at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai Authors: Divya B. Gaud, Nikita N. Pinto, Priyanshi V. Suvasia, Khushboo R. Kothari, Savio J. Miranda, Jayant P. Rathod. Won the first prize in the creative corner section.

  • “A student-centric approach for developing scientific communication skills in undergraduate microbiology students”, Authors: Talekar A, Amonkar V, Gokarn K., at epiSTEME 8: Eighth International Conference to Review Research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education. HBCSE, Mumbai from 3rd-6th Jan 2020.

  • At “International Conference on Biotechnology: Perspective and Challenges” held on 14th and 15thFebruary 2020 at Modern College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Ganeshkhind, Pune.

    • Impact of point Mutations on the structural stability of rpoB - A computational Approach Authors: Khushboo Kothari, Norine Dsouza & Karuna Gokarn - Won the consolation Prize.
    • A comparative study on growth kinetics of microbes in response to different carbon substrates Authors: Jhelum Chaubal, Nihira Deolikar, Bushra Khan, Drishya Unnithan, Prashant Suvasia and Norine Dsouza.

‘Utilization of Pineapple Pomace for extraction of a bioactive corrosion inhibitor’ Authors: Kush Gudka, Neha Kumari, Bayaan Sarang, Jheel Kavedia, Simran Thakur, Shiney Peter.

  • ‘Exploration of Calotropis species extracts as alternate anti-proliferative agents using human cell line models’ at the International Conference on Natural Products- Quality, Safety and Efficacy’ held on 6th  and 7th March 2020 at SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce (Autonomous), Mumbai. Authors: Tejas Suryawanshi, Rutuja Yelmar, Conceetha Sequiera, Shiney Peter Won the 2nd Prize for the Poster.

  • Integration of Bioinformatics Tools for Biomolecular studies: An Impact Analysis of Blended Learning Approach, International Conference on Evolving Trends in Higher education organized by the IQAC, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai from 12th - 13th March 2020 Authors - Norine D’Souza and Shiney Peter.

Student participation in seminars/workshops/conferences:

  • Popular Science Lecture Series 2018-19 Organized by IWAS Association, Vashi, Navi Mumbai Supported by BRNS-DAE on Genomics Landscapes of Tumours by Dr. Manoj Mahimkar, Scientist, ACTREC, on 13th August 2019.

  • Represented PGDBT with an exhibit titled, ‘The Biotech Express’ and posters on various fields namely pharmaceutical biotechnology, stem cell therapy, bioinformatics, origin and development of vaccines, genetically modified organisms at the DBT- CTEP sponsored Science Fair “Popularization of Science” (An outreach to inspire young minds) on 29th November 2019 and Xynergy 2019 (A Spectrum of Opportunities) on 30th November 2019, held at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

  • Two-day Workshop on International Auditing System and Process- FSMS conducted by ONECERT International (P) Ltd. Audit and Training Dept on 11th and 12th December 2019.

  • One-day Symposium ‘Biowaves 2020’ on upholding the spirit of sustainability organized by Department of Life Sciences and Biochemistry, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai on 18th January 2020.

  • Participated in Youth Against Organ Trafficking Conclave organized by Harmony Foundation on 31st January 2020.

  • MSc-I students participated in the self-defense workshop organized by Women’s Development Cell on 13th February 2020.

  • Attended a lecture on Human Coronaviruses from SARS to CoViD by Dr. Sandipan Mukherjee, Scientific Officer, Haffkine’s Institute for Training Research and Testing, Mumbai on 19th February 2020.

  • Attended the One-day training program on FSSAI – FSSAI- National Food Safety Regulations- Manufacturing Sector- schedule 4 for manufacturing units and its Importance conducted by ONECERT International (P) Ltd. Audit and Training Dept on 23rd February 2020.

  • Participated in the NextGen G e n o m i c s, B i o l o g y, Bioinformatics and Technologies (NGBT) Conference 2019 hosted by SGRF Conferences, SciGenom Research Foundation (SGRF), Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai from 30thSept to 2nd Oct 2019.

  • MSc-II students volunteered as supporting executives in various departments of the organization of the event.

 
Faculty Members,
Department of Biotechnology

 

 




 

Additional information